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Help And Advice Required For New Teacher To Preschool!


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hello all you lovely people please help as i am a little scared of my new position and am becoming quite unusre of myself.

 

after gaining my eyps the company i work for has asked me to become the preschool teacher for a new centre we have just opened!

 

have been invovled greatly in setting up a new observation,planning and recording system in line with the EYFS.

 

however as the start of my new role creeps closer and closer i am becoming unsure of myself and views on what to do.

 

the preschool teachers in the other two centres have QTS and i think their views differ slightly, during a meeting about the planning systems the other day they got side tracjed and began to talk about teaching time, how they designate their time to different things, when and how they do guided reading etc, this began to worry me as i havnt had much experience in preschool, so just listened for a while!!

 

we talked about the "Letters and sounds" document which i know about but then they discussed the oxford reading tree, which again i havnt heard of.

 

i feel really stupid asking these questions. i have been given a great opportunity in being given this role, i did state when it was offered to me that i was unsure of alot of things but they said they had every faith in me and would offer support if i needed it.

 

i have done abit of interent research but wanted to get some simplistic answers.

 

what is the oxford reading tree? is it an alternative to "letters and sounds" or will they and can they be used toghether?

what is guided reading?

how much time a week/day should be spent on these things?

 

I was under the impression workingwith 3-5 year olds was still about learning through play and that any letter/sound/reading "work" would still be done through play activities???

im not sure if im maybe just misinterpeting the other teachers when they say "teaching time" or whether i am myself getting it worng as i am so used to much younger children!

 

 

please any advice would be greatly appreciated

 

thank you

 

(please feel free to move this if it is in the wrong section)

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Hi northerbird, there have been discussions on letters and sounds which you can view here, it might help you to feel a bit more confident.

 

I think the Oxford reading tree is a scheme of reading which is based on pictures, I seem to remember my friend moaning that her daughter was spending all her time looking at pictures and not seeing any words, but I could be wrong!

Please dont forget that you were taken on for this role, if they wanted QTS they could have got one, they obviously think you can do it. Has anyone said that your classes should be run the same? if not, do what you feel is right for the children you will be with. I'm with you with regards to playing for 3-5 year olds, although I know a lot of people are happy to teach more formally. I thought guided reading was something that happened in reception though, it seems a lot to ask of a 3 year old.

Other people will be along with better understanding od all this, just hang in there and have faith, you can do it :o

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thank you soooo much for the quick reply think im just getting in a little bit of a tizz about it all!!

 

i think the managing director would like us all to be doing the same, she seemd to like the idea of guided reading from centre 1 which centre 2 doesnt do, im not sure if this is just done with the children who are just about to move on to school or all, sounds kinda too much too soon to me though!!!

 

in regard to the oxford reading tree, it seems to me that children are encouraged to guess what the words are from the cues they are getting from the pictures, is this a correct interpretation?

 

and doesnt the "letters and sounds" move away from this, in that the children learn sounds and what letters look like so they understand better and do not have to guess words and letters when they see them????

 

as i say im very new to this so any more advice is very welcome!!!

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Oxford Reading Tree is a scheme of reading books which begin with picture books to describe and talk about and carry on up to stage 13 for junior children.

You can buy ORT on cd rom as talking books which are good to use as another resource.

Guided reading is a small group reading activity lead by an adult.

Hope this helps.

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Guided Reading should not start still reception even then I still don't think it is appropriate until at least the Spring term depending on the childrens needs.

 

Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds is great for pre school and you can pick an chose focussed activities that are appropriate.

 

Don't forget that teachers are generally just trained to deliver the curriculum and not (in a lot of cases) in child development, as an EYp you have the underpinning of knowledge in child development and learning through play so I am sure you could show them a thing or two!

 

Oxford Reading Tree on it's own is pretty dull imo, it is good to have a variety of books for the children to take home and share in class.

Edited by Jester
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Hi northernbird

If you are pre-school I would assume that your children are just that-pre school. You should be using phase one of letters and sounds, if this is the system in your centre. So you should be using the lovely games for phase one where children learn to recognise environmental, musical and body sounds. These are very much listening games which will lead on to children starting to learn the sounds of the alphabet.

Oxford Reading Tree is a reading scheme. I don't think you should be doing guided reading with pre-school children.

Have you got a copy of the letters and sounds document? If you watch the DVD you will get some really good ideas about what you should be doing.

Linda

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thanks everyone you have really boosted my confidence. as im new to this role and a little unsure i guess i was worried i was the one not having the correct views but as u say qualified teachers have had different training.

 

 

have got the document and will be getting my head stuck into that when i get chance

 

i just need to build up my knowlegde on this area and confidence in questioning what the teachers say now!!!

 

any further words of wisdom still welcome

 

thanks

Edited by Guest
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I would agree with what others have said northernbird. I would not be recommending ORT or guided reading to any of the settings I visit, but I would be recommending phase one (only) of letters and sounds.

The teachers you were talking to will have a different experience from you, schools are very often under a lot of pressure to 'teach' hence the comments about teaching time, and you will see here many conversations from teachers about fitting it all in, because there are so many.

I would disagree with Jester, that teachers are only trained to deliver the curriculum, although there will inevitably be teachers who don't have the sound understanding of child development, just as there will be practitioners in your position who don't either. You will probably learn a lot from each other, I presume that if you don't have pre school experience that your strengths are in birth to 3? They will have more experience I expect of how schools work, what the children can expect when they go to school in September etc etc,.

 

Good luck with your venture.

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I would disagree with Jester, that teachers are only trained to deliver the curriculum, although there will inevitably be teachers who don't have the sound understanding of child development, just as there will be practitioners in your position who don't either. You will probably learn a lot from each other, I presume that if you don't have pre school experience that your strengths are in birth to 3? They will have more experience I expect of how schools work, what the children can expect when they go to school in September etc etc,.

 

Good luck with your venture.

 

Thats why I said generally it is not always the case, thats what I have experienced in the past.

Edited by Jester
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I trained as a teacher (many years ago) and we studied child development. I still have my Helen Bee book which is a text still used today. The age range I trained for was 9-13 years.

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Nothernbird, it sounds to me that while you may have a lot to learn you also have a lot to offer the other teachers, since your experiences and professional backgrounds are so different. When I took over the running of playgroup I had no experience of planning or the curriculum but would like to think I'm fairly knowledgeable now. I made sure that anything I didn't know I found out about double quick! And the forum was an absolute godsend for that. :o

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Good advice already, you obviously showed your employers that you have the knowledge and skills for this new job, so head held high and and have faith in yourself.

What I would suggest is maybe have a meeting with the other centre preschool teachers, and maybe your employers to discuss the company curriculum policy, is this to be followed the same throughout the company at every centre, or do you have liscence to develop your own individual policy at each centre?

Maybe discuss how you see the implimentation of the EYFS, it's principles and practice which is far removed from 'formal teaching time'. Also maybe ask to sit in on a few sessions at the other centres to see what their actual definition, in practice, is of teaching time. t may sound formal but in reality be based on observations of childrens interests and needs and may just mean 'adult led'.

 

I wouldn't think you can gain EY 'professional' status unless you have shown you can 'teach' at this age, based on principlesof play, adult direction and child initiated interests. :o

 

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

 

and finally, CONGRATULATIONS on getting what sounds to me like a really exciting role.

 

Peggy

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I think the main thing is to have confidence which is easier said than done. When I started with Letters and Sounds I thought where do I start but then I was pleasantly impressed that quite a lot of these activities I had being doing anyway. Guided reading - again you will find that you have been doing all the initial things like sharing books together, turning the pages, pointing out words, how to hold the book correctly, sharing favourite books etc , see you have been doing it . Good luck

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thank you soo much everyone for your kind words and support its really touched me.

 

ive just read a post on another forum of someone who had read my post on here and its really annoyed and upset me, basically saying i should nt have neen given the post if i didnt know what i was doing, luckily someone has stuck up for me on there (im not a member on that forum) however your kind advice has made me feel so much better.

 

i do believe i have the skills to dothis job and a syou sya my employers belive in me so that s all that matters.

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